Ousting Assad

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The Obama administration’s position on Syria is clear. Administration officials have said that Bashar Assad’s days are numbered and affirmed that the goal is a “democratic transition” that would see Assad deposed from power. President Obama has added moral urgency to the situation, condemning Assad’s brutal 11-month crackdown on dissent and vowing that “cruelty must be confronted for the sake of justice and human dignity.” For all the forcefulness of its intentions, though, the administration has yet to spell out a concrete course for ousting Assad and ending the violence.

Diplomacy seems to be the administration’s preferred strategy for regime change, at least judging from the desperate way in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to win Russian support for a UN Security Council resolution backing Assad’s exit. But as Russia and China’s obdurate refusal to part ways with Assad shows, there will be no such unanimity at the UN. Neither country seems to have been moved by Syria’s humanitarian crisis, as UN ambassador Susan Rice’s admonition that both countries “will have any future blood spilled on their hands” plainly has fallen on deaf ears.

Russia and China’s backing isn’t necessary to tighten sanctions or to seize the regime’s finances abroad, but these measures may have reached diminishing returns. Switzerland and the EU have already frozen Assad and his lieutenants’ assets and it’s not clear how much more can be done on this front. Powerful economic sanctions have already been pushed through by the European Union, Turkey, and the Arab League, meanwhile, and while their impact will certainly be felt in Damascus it’s unlikely to be decisive. As international sanctions expert Daniel Drezner points out, sanctions alone rarely collapse regimes as determined to hold on to power as Assad’s.

The administration’s least-preferred option – the use of force – is also unlikely. Although the Department of Defense has said that it is reviewing all options for Syria, the administration has been at pains to stress that it has not been considering a Libya-style military intervention. Speaking with NBC’s Matt Lauer last Sunday, President Obama stressed that it is “very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention.” Obama added that he thought that was “possible.”

This reluctance may seems strange coming from the Obama administration, particularly considering its willingness to use force in Libya, where Moammar Qadaffi only threatened the kind of collective punishment and humanitarian disaster that Assad has already inflicted on Syrians. But according to national security reporter Laura Rozen, the administration considers Syria a different case for several reasons.

First, Syria’s location matters more than Libya’s. Syria’s neighbors – Iraq, Israel, Turkey – make the threat of regional instability arising from military intervention far more worrying. There is also the matter of Syria’s internal sectarian divisions and its fractured political opposition. Not only are there long-running tensions between the majority Sunnis and the Alawaite sect of Assad, but there is feuding even among the two leading opposition groups, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Body, who fell out most recently after disagreeing about the use of foreign force against Assad.

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  • Alvaro

    By all means, help the MB again.

    Syria is a horrible dictatorship, but just about anything beats the 7th century.

    • old white guy

      i wait with baited breath the fallout from removing assad. the reults around the middle east have not been good so far.

  • crackerjack

    Why is the Golan aspect of this conflict always conveniently blended out ?

    Any new regime in Damascus will have the liberation of Syria's occupied Golan region, a topic of rare national consensus, on the top of its agenda. It doesn't take much political foresight to predict that this issue will be manipulated by any new regime in Damascus to divert from domestic problems by rallying the nation behind a common goal.

    How will the West react when the Free Syrian Army marches on Golan?

    • UCSPanther

      The IDF will cut them to pieces if they so much as set foot on the Golan Heights, and I will be rooting for the IDF.

      • crackerjack

        Cut these good freedom fighters to pieces? Doesn't Israel, as the "only democracy in the region" support freedom and democracy? LOL.

        • ziontruth

          "Why is the Golan aspect of this conflict always conveniently blended out ?"

          Because it's off-topic, anti-Zionist scum.

          "…the liberation of Syria's occupied Golan region,…"

          No, the stealing of Israel's Golan region by Arab imperialists.

          "Cut these good freedom fighters to pieces?"

          No, cut these imperialist invaders to pieces like any sane nation-state would when imperialist invaders launch an aggressive campaign against it.

          "Doesn't Israel, as the 'only democracy in the region' support freedom and democracy?"

          Israel is the nation-state and sanctuary-state of the Jews, owing freedom and democracy within it only to its nation within it, the Jews in Israel, and having the duty of protecting them from any encroachment at all costs.

          Keep your "freedom and democracy means nations are not entitled to safety in their nation-states" multiculturalist treason to your own country (Germany or Austria). We here choose life.

        • Indioviejo

          I hope you know that there is no Democracy in Islam, and what we have in Syria is a fight among Fascist. Lets add a little fuel to the fire.

  • John Saunders-Smith

    Years of progressive lefty education has brought us to this:

    US Marines posed with banner of Nazi SS
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/af

    • NotaBene

      And the two things are related….how?

    • mrbean

      Very stupid, and I am sure alot of the younger Marines did not realize that is the Hitler's Nazi SS symbol. They don't teach actual history in high schools anymore. just revisionist history through the multicultural lens so it is understandable how this happened.

      • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

        Mr Bean, come on. Please.
        They dont HAVE to teach this in schools, it is on the TV, 24/7.

        But, nothing EVER on the Bolshevik revolt..

        These guys know EXACTLY what is up there.

    • Indioviejo

      It stands for Scout-Sniper. Any other interpretation is out of context.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I went to a site which deals with military abbreviations, and any combination of the word "Marine" with the acronymn "ss" had no results, along with a short disclaimer. The disclaimer might indicate that there is a controversy surrounding the combination.

      Even if there were a valid reason to combine Marine with ss, it was stupid to use Germanic runes for the latter.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Assad is a tool of Iran and Russia and they will not let him go down, they will help
    with continuing the killing until there are no Syrians left to act out against the
    government. Assad will continue the bloodbath until he purges all opposition
    which could mean a long and violent future for Syrians. Of course the violence
    will be blamed on Israel by the Muslim Brotherhood and could push Iran into
    a more active role which would cause further escalation. There is no peaceful
    way for this to end but the future owns itself and Assad may be gone but who
    then? This makes Iran all the more dangerous………………………William

  • Steve Chavez

    RUSSIA IS ABOUT TO SLAUGHTER ITS OWN PEOPLE TOO so how can they vote with the rest of the world on sanctions or military force against Syria, THEY'RE NUMBER ONE MILITARY TRADING PARTNER, and who is part of their grand scheme, with their proxy Iran, who Russia also veto's sanctions, TO TAKEOVER THE MIDDLE EAST WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL AS THE ICING ON THE CAKE!

    CHINA, TOO has blood on its hands since they didn't hesitate to massacre its own. IT WORKED DIDN'T IT? SO SYRIA IS WAITING IT OUT since his father did the same.

    RUSSIA, AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, were, and still are, IDOLIZED by OBAMA and his "Circle of Communists" during their 80's college days when the CPUSA AND THE KGB were taking over universities to recruit in their wars to take over CENTRAL AMERICA! OBAMA SIDED WITH KGB FUNDED FRONT GROUPS AS EVIDENT IN HIS COLUMBIA "SUNDIAL 1983" ARTICLE which can be googled to see that he was in fact in the "Circle of Communists."

    THE GOAL: THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL and the downfall of the United States as REVENGE for the fall of Soviet Union, a country they loved more than their own!

  • kkkk

    i will grant that Assad is not the best. he has many faults. but at least he doesn't rule strictly by Sharia. therefore, Christians, though not equals, have more rights and protection than under Sharia regimes.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Exactly.

      If we go there, it will be a MASSACRE of Christians, NO NO AND NO to Syria action.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    the goal is a “democratic transition” that would see Assad deposed from power.

    Hint: How many true democracies are in the Middle East? Zero, with the exception of Israel. How many attempts at transitioning to democracy have failed? All of them. What is it called when one continues doing the same absurd thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome, but always getting the same outcome each and every time? Insanity.

    Why democracy in the Islamic world never ever works? Because Islam is not a religion. Instead, it is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that masquerades as being a religion to dupe gullible useful idiots. Hence, what do you call people that try to democratize the Islamic world over and over again? Mentally incompetent morons!

    Meanwhile, how many draconian Islamic totalitarian hellholes are in the Middle East? All of them, including even Iraq, are draconian Islamic totalitarian hellholes. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is a true democracy. How many of them violently oppress and systematically persecute non-Muslim unbelievers living as less than second class dhimmi citizens inside their countries? All of them, with the single exception of Israel.

    Indeed, if the Islamic world eventually wins its covert global jihad it is waging perpetually against the un-Islamic world, primarily via mass Muslim immigration for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest, the entire world will be one big draconian Islamic totalitarian hellhole, billions of people will inevitably starve to death, and the world will enter a 7th century draconian nightmare it may never escape from.

    Additionally, why does the news media always report what is going on in Syria as Assad assaulting the Syrian people? There is a revolution happening between the Assad Alawite regime on the one side and the Muslim Brotherhood Sunnis on the other side, and both sides are the enemy of the USA and all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world. In other words, it is a civil war being fought by our eternal enemies and that is a good thing and not a bad thing. Hence, we should be cheering, not trying to stop it.

    Meanwhile, when have Muslims ever fought jihad without killing civilians wholesale? Never. The truth is in the eyes of Muslims there is no such thing as civilians. Since the sixth and most important pillar of Islam makes it an obligatory duty for every Muslim on earth to fight jihad in the cause of Allah, in the eyes of Muslims all Muslims are jihadists, either violent jihadists or covert non-violent jihadists, but jihadists nonetheless. Hence, each side declares the other side takfir (un-Islamic) and each side then resorts to total warfare. Not to mention that the news media alleged civilians are actually revolutionaries in any event.

    Moreover, Muslims view the Geneva Conventions as an abomination because it emanates from fallible man as opposed to emanating from infallible Allah (God) as only Sharia does. Since Sharia emanates from Allah (God), it is divine, perfect, infallible, and infinitely more just that any laws or conventions emanating from fallible man.

    This is also the reason why we see civilian women, children, and elderly non-combatants slaughtered indiscriminately every time Muslims wage violent jihad against non-Muslim unbelievers anywhere in the world in places like Israel, Kashmir, Jammu, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Chechnya, Russia, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc., etc., etc. including in the USA on 9/11/2001.

    Anyway, the USA should take advantage of the civil war in Syria to eliminate the ruling Mullah regime of Iran and to destroy their nuclear weapons program, as Syria has a mutual defense pact with Iran and in fact is one of Iran's proxies. As a matter of fact, this is a golden opportunity for the USA to act. Indeed, if the USA eradicated the ruling Mullah regime in Iran, the Assad Alawite regime would be preferable to the Muslim Brotherhood regime that will inevitably replace it, because the Assad Alawite regime would help keep the lid on the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • mlcblog

      Thank you.

  • mrbean

    We really got some good results with the Ayatolla after ouster of the Sha of Iran didn't we. American citizens held hostage for over a year and a terrorist state. We also really got some good results with the Muslim Brotherhood after ouster of Egypt's Mubarak didn't we. American citizens held hostage once again. Libya after Gadffi looks much the same. Yemen you can count on to be an al Qaeda stronghold. Obama is alot like a relief pitcher who comes in with score 5 to 4 and after 4 innings the score is 15 to 7 and he blames the previous pitcher for him (Obama) pitching 4 innings of batting practice for the opposition. Obama as they say, doesn't pack the gear to be a world leader. Intellectually, courageously, or just plain good common sense.

  • dirt

    Assad was just trying to keep his minority tribe alive. If the majority Sunni takes power, he and his tribes will suffer the same fate as the Sunni does now (see Egypt and Libya as recent examples). What would the world say then? Probably nothing!

    Obama is facing a dilemma, he wants to appease both Iran and the Arabs majority, where one supports Assad and one against him. Therefore no matter what he does, he will have create one more enemy for the States.

    The West will never truly understand what the Arabs or the Islam world think or behave. Until more truth of Islam is revealed and understood, the West is best to keep out of the Islam world and let Islam deal with themselves, while keeping the infiltration (aka hidden jihad) of the Islam away from the West.

  • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

    If they oust Assad, the Muslim bro'hood will be in charge, then Israel can look to a future of bombs and rockets, non stop.

  • Indioviejo

    Has the CIA and the State Department consulted with our only Ally in the Region about the path we should follow? I am sure American interest would be better served, but Obama and the Democrat Party would disagree. The Marxist POTUS agenda has the destruction of Israel as an immediate goal.

  • azjohnny

    there's no solution for the middle east . . . too many sects that hate each other . . . how can they be expected to come together as one since they've never known another way and their mangy "religious" leaders merely exacerbate the problems. it's ironic too because for a place in the world where wealth in the form of oil merely bubbles out of the ground that its inhabitants should be the most peaceful and contented on earth. . . but it's over for them; it's unsustainable; they're doomed . . . similar to the u.s. under obammy and the donkey party dolts.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Israel should openly offer safe haven to all Christians in the Middle East. This offer would open a can the press has managed to keep unopened.

    Offering those in Syria a way out while the Press is covering the Countrys meltdown is bound to recieve the coverage it so richly deserves.

    It would be very difficult for Israel to look bad-at least in American eyes-to a problem needing a solution. Americans understand Christan Persecution.Many from the very begining came here because of it. Especially now with our own GOVERNMENT firing several salvos in its own right. A huge help for sanity-a Box squared for others to get out of without disgrace,

  • P.A

    For all to see, but no one wants to say it. So it seems.

    The only thing Assad needs to do – declare Syria an Islamic State, institute Sharia laws, grow a beard.

    This done, everything will stop. All rioting, all support. From Saudi and Turkey and USA. Assad will be welcomed back into the bosom, a not so long lost friend.

    If any one thinks the protest and rioting and daily mayhem in Homs and etc is people yearning for our liberal democratic values, needs head examined.